Monday, April 29, 2013

Killiney Kopitiam, Melbourne CBD by Snooze

Last week I visited Killiney Kopitiam together with Miss Viaggio. Killiney is Miss Viaggio’s new “go to” place and I was keen to experience what draws Miss Viaggio. I hadn’t heard of this eatery before although I know a kopitiam is a Malaysian coffee shop. A little research, and assistance from Miss Viaggio, saw me educated to the Killeney chain of kopitiams in a range of cities and countries throughout Asia, including two in Melbourne. Interesting to know also, Killiney is named for Killiney Road in Singapore, with the first kopitiam opening there in 1919. They must be doing something right.

First impressions are good: the restaurant is large, clean and nicely fitted out. The service is also smooth and well co-ordinated, with a sign on entering that we need to wait to be seated. Within minutes we’re ushered to our seats. Fortunately Miss Viaggio understands the drill because there’s no table service and we have to order and pay for our meal at the counter and take a number.

At this stage in the review I need to put up my hand and admit to a lack of knowledge about, and to some extent enthusiasm for, Singaporean food. I started eating Malaysian and Singaporean food in the last 2-3 years, and I'm in no way an expert. I might even go so far as to claim I’m not a total convert. Many of the dishes are discordant to my tastes (Nasi Lemak comes to mind), and I’m one of those people who needs the chilli level toned down to a gentle level.

Miss Viaggio’s latest dish to try was the combination Laksa with Hainanese chicken. For some reason I expected these to be served separately, but they came together in the same bowl. Miss Viaggio thought the gravy was good and thick and nicely soaked up by the fried tofu, but she felt the delicate Hainanese chicken was overpowered by the Laksa.

My choice was the Fried Kway Teoh. This is one Malaysian dish I like although the best I’ve tried so far is at Tidlom Thai in the CBD. Killeney’s version was super filling but not one of the best around. It was predominantly noodles, fortunately not very hot chilli wise, with only a few medium sized prawns and not enough bean shoots to suit me. The colour was good but with none of the oomph I expect from this dish. The best bit for me; there were plenty of those largish fish things (I think) I really like.

My favourite of the meal was my Teh Tarik. I love this stuff and would go back for this drink alone. Again not the best I’ve had, weaker in strength n the Chinese style and not as frothy as I like, but still good.

My impression is Killiney sounds like a touch of home for the Singaporean students in Melbourne, and given the lunchtime crowd this may well be the case. I liked its clean surroundings with quick service, generous serving size and low price. I’ll be going back to try a few more things including the Hainanese chicken rice, but unfortunately I won’t be expecting a balanced meal with vegetables.

It's kind of interesting to see and compare this Killiney with its first kopitiam opened in Carlton, that Big Fil visited in late 2011. It seems as though they've learnt a lot since then with many of the kinks ironed out since that time.

Food – 6.5
Service – 8
Ambience – 7
Price – 7

Shop 11, 108 Bourke St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: 03 9663 5818

Killiney Kopitiam Bourke Street on Urbanspoon

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